Daily Archives: September 15, 2006

Go, Senate Republicans, Go

Senate panel rejects Bush anti-terrorism plan

A rebellious Senate committee defied President Bush on Thursday and approved terror-detainee legislation he has vowed to block, deepening Republican conflict over terrorism and national security in the middle of election season… Republican Sen. John Warner of Virginia, normally a Bush supporter, pushed the measure through his Armed Services Committee by a 15-9 vote, with Warner and three other GOP lawmakers joining Democrats. The vote set the stage for a showdown on the Senate floor as early as next week.

A nice reminder for those of us who don’t typically think well of the GOP that some of folks in that camp really are saying “enough” to the president when it comes to his fetish for pointless authoritarianism for the sake of pointless authoritarianism. We can argue whether they’re doing it because of political triangulation away from an unpopular president in an election year, because they want to remind the administrative branch that the legislative branch is a co-equal branch of government, or because they believe that Bush’s policies are morally repugnant and not at all in keeping with the national charater or Constitution. Or some combination of the three; it’s rarely just one thing.

Thing is, on one level, I don’t actually care which of these it is. What I care about is that we’re steadily and increasingly moving away from the “president as king” model of government this administration has been cultivating lo these last six years. We’re getting closer to what we’re supposed to be: questioning our leaders, even and especially when they don’t want us to. This is a result worth having. If certain Republicans are an instrument of this, all I can say to that is: Thank you, senators. I appreciate it.

Denver at Sunrise

denver0915a.jpg

Hey! Stupid buildings! You’re blocking my sunrise!

Denver seems nice, although I don’t think I’m going to end up seeing a whole lot of it other than the hotel I’m at, at which I’m signing books for booksellers and otherwise doing the whole marketing oneself and one’s books thing. The hotel, part of the Denver Tech Center, seems designed for the purpose of not actually making it useful or interesting to leave; the only other things around here seem to be other office building and hotels; I think I saw a sign for a chain restaurant somewhere in the distance, but I’m not going to hike the better part of a mile just to see a Chili’s up close and personal. I do know it was a $50 cab ride to get here. I may actually be in Utah.

One kvetch, if you don’t mind. My personal feeling is that when you stay at a hotel that advertises itself as being part of a “tech center,” it damn well ought to have free Internet. I think that makes sense. Because clearly you intend to cater to a geek crowd, and they do like their data teats. But this particular hotel does not — it’s the usual $10/24 hours gig you get any hotel that doesn’t have the words “suites,” “budget” or “express” appended to it.

I suppose I could just go ahead and pay for the connection — it’s not like I’m paying for the room, after all, my publisher is — but the fact of the matter is I find this mildly offensive. If you’re going to advertise yourself as a tech center, then be a tech center, damn it. My cell phone has a decently fast modem in it: I’m using that instead. Three cheers for technology that lets you get around stupid charges (you may say, yeah, but you’re paying for the cell phone. Well, I’m not, actually. Yay! free stuff!).

Anyway. Hello, Denver! The part of you I can see out of my hotel window looks nice. I look forward to coming around sometime and seeing more of you.

Pretty Much the Last Thing I’m Going to Say on Bacon and Cats for a While, Honest

I think we’ve tapped the “BaconCat” saga for just about all of its comedy gold at the moment, but I do have to say I find this homage quite amusing (context, for those who need it).

Also, the original post of me taping bacon to my cat was apparently the 4th most linked to blog post on teh intarweebs yesterday. Given the composition of the other top posts in the top five, I think it’s safe to say it confirms what we all already knew, which is that the blosphere is really about politics, tech toys and cats, and will continue to be for as long as it exists.

Whatever also made the top 10 in the Top Blogs. Mmmmm… “A list”-liciousness. Never fear, I’ll be once more rootin’ and snarlin’ with the common blog trolls soon enough. There’s only so much I’m willing to humiliate my pets for online popularity, and anyway, right now I’m in Denver, so they’re not readily available. Nor is bacon, for that matter, although I suppose room service could take care of that.

Anyway, if you’re just here for the Adventures of BaconCat, it’s time to move on, and thanks for coming. We’re going back our regular scheduled programming of whatever the hell it is I do around here when I’m not in possession of meat and cats. I can’t remember, but I think it involves graphic decriptions of my enjoyment of cheese. Yes, that’s it precisely.